Mark Nicoski celebrates a goal for the Eagles
Mark Nicoski celebrates a goal for the Eagles

Skipper Jobe Watson powered Essendon's second-half comeback as the Bombers beat West Coast by 16 points and stormed into the AFL's top three.

But it wasn't all good news for the Bombers, despite securing their fourth win in the first seven rounds.

While exciting forward Kyle Reimers kicked three goals, he was also reported in the third quarter for a trip on Sam Butler.

Essendon won 16.10 (106) to West Coast's 12.18 (90) at Etihad Stadium as the Eagles suffered their third loss of the season.

The Bombers were two goals down at halftime but recovered with a six-goal third term and held West Coast goalless to take a 24-point advantage into the last quarter.

After the fireworks of the third term, West Coast outscored the Bombers three goals to two in the last quarter with the result not in doubt.

Watson had 31 possessions including 11 in the vital third term and big forward Stewart Crameri kicked three goals and had 18 touches.

Fans hoping for another Essendon scored an AFL record 15.4 (94) in the opening term of last week's game against Gold Coast.

However West Coast staged an early blitz of their own on Sunday, kicking 4.4 (28) to the home side's 2.1 (13) with rover Daniel Kerr gathering 14 possessions in the first quarter.

Quinten Lynch's snap put the Eagles 21 points ahead in the opening minute of the second quarter, but majors to Patrick Ryder and Watson kept the Bombers in touch.

Kerr's tagger Heath Hocking bobbed up in attack with two goals in the second quarter and David Zaharakis levelled the scores at the 25-minute mark as the Bombers scored their sixth goal of the term.

But the Eagles responded with two late goals to take a 12-point lead at half-time.

West Coast's Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui dominated the ruck contests in the first half as the Eagles led the inside-50 count 34 to 16.

Reimers, who kicked a career-best eight goals last week, had only three touches in the first half against West Coast but turned on a dazzling performance in the third term.

Essendon kicked 6.3 to West Coast's three behinds in the third quarter, including three goals from the crowd-favourite Reimers.

The Eagles lost tough midfielder Adam Selwood who left the field groggy following a high bump from Tom Bellchambers which could come under scrutiny from the AFL's Match Review Panel.

The Bombers travel to Brisbane to play the win-less Lions on Saturday night and West Coast host Fremantle for the big derby clash on Sunday.

SCOREBOARD

ESSENDON 2.1 8.3 14.6 16.10 (106)
WEST COAST 4.4 9.9 9.12 12.18 (90)

GOALS – ESSENDON: K Reimers, S Crameri 3; J Watson, H Hocking, D Hille 2; T Bellchambers, P Ryder, D Zaharakis, A Monfries. WEST COAST: M Nicoski, J Kennedy, Q Lynch, M LeCras 2; D Kerr, J Darling, B Ebert, W Schofield.
BEST – ESSENDON: J Watson, H Hocking, H Slattery, D Heppell, L Jetta, M Hurley, B Howlett. WEST COAST: J Kennedy, D Kerr, D Glass, M Priddis, N Naitanui, D Cox.
INJURIES – WEST COAST: E Mackenzie (foot) replaced in the selected side by B Sheppard.
REPORTS: K Reimers (Ess) reported for tripping S Butler in the third quarter.
UMPIRES: D Margetts, H Kennedy, M Leppard.
CROWD: 33,631 at Etihad Stadium.

The West Australian

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